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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » The Other Side of the Door (Blu-ray)
The Other Side of the Door (Blu-ray)
20th Century Fox // R // June 7, 2016 // Region A
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by William Harrison | posted June 26, 2016 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
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THE FILM:

This godawful, piece of s**t stars Sarah Wayne Callies from AMC's "The Walking Dead." It's only 96 minutes long and rated R, but that's about all the nice things I have to say about this middling horror film. The loss of a child devastates protagonist Maria (Callies), who was forced to choose between saving her young daughter, Lucy (Sofia Rosinsky), and young son, Oliver (Logan Creran), from drowning after a car wreck. She picks Lucy, believing the older Oliver might have a better chance of surviving on his own. He does not, and his death weighs heavy on Maria's conscience. Maria and husband Michael (Jeremy Sisto) carry on, but when the pair's housekeeper (Suchitra Pillai-Malik) offers Maria a way to say goodbye to Oliver, she jumps at the chance. The woman tells Maria to travel to a temple where the living and the dead co-exist, but warns she must not allow the dead Oliver to cross into the world of the living. Spoiler alert! She does.

Director Johannes Roberts' film feels a lot like a dozen or so other horror movies you've already seen, and offers nothing new to make it worth viewing. My first irritation is how stupid these characters are. The opening accident scene is poorly staged, and I sat in my chair amazed that Maria simply gave up on saving Oliver. I guess the story had to move along somehow, but that is not a good start. Then, Maria goes to some stereotypically evil temple and immediately abandons all reason to allow a ridiculous death ritual to unfold. Her grief is powerful, she is reckless, and this narrative is preposterous. After the ritual, Oliver "speaks" to his mommy from the beyond, and, despite the aforementioned warning, Maria invites him to come closer. His presence eventually dissipates and Maria returns home, marginally healed. Cut to a few weeks later, when things go quickly south thanks to Maria's afterlife meddling.

The second, of many, stupid things about The Other Side of the Door is how clueless everyone acts. Unexplained, terrifying things are happening at every turn, but Maria and company continue to go about life as normal. The aforementioned housekeeper notices dark shadows, dead plants and ominous tribal men outside before her own terrifying visions consume her. Oliver appears to target his younger sister, and Lucy tells her mom that Oliver "isn't nice anymore." There are a couple of OK scenes of suspense when Lucy is wandering around her dark bedroom, but these are few and far between. The spooks are of the CGI-demon variety, and always accompanied by a deafening stinger on the soundtrack. Once the first jolt happens, you know exactly what you'll be seeing for the next hour and change.

The dead child/grieving mother storyline could be interesting in more capable hands. I think a decent horror movie could be structured with this plot, but The Other Side of the Door is not it. The climax is surprisingly bloody, earning the film its R rating, but nothing about the final reveal is surprising. Tone deaf, dull and repetitive, the film stumbles over every element. The drama is grating, the spooks unearned and the narrative unimpressive. I like Callies as an actress. Hopefully her future film roles will be more appealing.

THE BLU-RAY:

PICTURE:

The 2.39:1/1080p/AVC-encoded image is culled from a digital source. Fine-object detail is impressive, and the film is consistently sharp and clear. Skin tones appear accurate, and colors are nicely saturated. Nighttime scenes suffer from some black crush and weak black levels.

SOUND:

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is appropriately immersive. The annoying soundtrack stingers come through in undisturbed clarity. Dialogue is uninterrupted, ambient and action effects surround the viewer, and the score is nicely resolved. Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital dubs are included, as are English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.

PACKAGING AND EXTRAS:

This two-disc "combo pack" includes the Blu-ray, a DVD copy and a code to redeem an iTunes or UltraViolet digital copy. The discs are packed in an eco-case that is wrapped in a slipcover. The disc includes Deleted Scenes (7:41/HD); Behind the Door (1:55/HD), a superfluous EPK; a Gallery (2:13/HD); and the Theatrical Trailer (2:55/HD).

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Skip It.

William lives in Burlington, North Carolina, and looks forward to a Friday-afternoon matinee.

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